One new face — Republican Ron Haven — will be on the Macon County Board of Commissioners if unofficial voting results from Tuesday night hold.
Incumbent Bob Simpson, a Democrat, lost his seat as 53 percent of Macon County voters — an impressive number for a midterm election — turned out to vote. This right-leaning county did re-elect Democrat Ronnie Beale, the commission board’s current chairman.
Haven and Beale represent the top two vote-getters in District 2, the Franklin area.
Voters also returned Republican incumbent commissioner Brian McClellan of Highlands to the board to represent District 1. McClellan regained his seat by besting Democrat Daniel Allen “Ricky” Bryson, a former commissioner.
Haven, a business owner, has called for a county department-by-department budget analysis to find areas to cut waste. He campaigned vigorously against steep-slope controls, flatly stating at a recent candidates’ forum that he wanted the county’s planning board to even stop study on the issue.
Macon County is the site of the September 2004 Peeks Creek landslide. This was a natural, not manmade, disaster that claimed five lives, and has since shaped the nature of debate here about what should be done about development on mountainsides.
Beale, who defended the work being done by the planning board, campaigned on a record of school-building projects and the work done to set the table for future economic development.
McClellan also has emphasized job creation, and supports offering incentives to companies willing to settle in Macon County.
Macon County Board of Commissioners (District 2, vote for 2)
Ron Haven (R) 5,719
Ronnie Beale (D) 5,539
Charlie Leatherman (R) 5,362
Bob Simpson (D) 4,259
Vic Drummond (U) 2,316
Macon County Board of Commissioners (District 1)Brian McClellan (R) 7,323
Allan (Ricky) Bryson (D) 5,099